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Cyno Balance

Author
Elemental Tide
#1 - 2016-12-23 15:50:45 UTC
TL/DR

This post does not attempt to address intel balance. Intel balance is tied to this issue, and IMO needs to be addressed. However, in order to focus discussion, it has been intentionally omitted.

1. Make small, medium, large and capital-sized versions of cynos, larger versions can move more and larger ships.
2. Give cynos a warm-up delay, when they are lit but no ships can pass through. Larger and covert cynos have longer delays.
3. Tie the ability to light a cyno with jump fatigue, so you can't light a cyno until your jump reactivation timer has finished.


Reason:
In Eve, there is a term: Risk vs. Reward. You can't run level 4s in a Rifter, because it would break the game. You would be risking too little in order to have too large of an impact on the game. Much of Eve is balanced around this concept. However, when it comes to cynos, there is no risk vs. reward balance. Using a Titan that is sitting in perfect safety inside a POS in friendly space and any ship with a highslot, to include a free rookie ship (excuse me, corvette), you can instantly give perfect positioning to any fleet. Effectively no risk and a huge reward. This causes constant issues, the most prominent of which is the "AFK cloaker" issue, where a single covert ops frigate can create enough risk to shut down an entire system for days or weeks at a time.

Proposed solution:

1. Make small, medium, large and capital-sized versions of cynos, larger versions can move more and larger ships.

Simply put: If you risk a bigger ship, you can move a larger fleet. However, hitting your limits won't turn off the cyno, you'll still have to wait until your cyno has completed its cycle in order to light again in order to prevent people from moving large fleets by quickly rage rolling a single cyno. Here are some specific numbers to start a conversation.

Small: 15 PG, 10 CPU, 30,000,000 kg single jump and total mass limit.
Medium: 150 PG, 25 CPU, 400,000,000 kg single jump and total mass limit
Large: 1500 PG, 45 CPU, 4,000,000,000 kg single jump and total mass limit
Capital 75,000 PG, 60 CPU, 15,000,000,000 kg single jump and total mass limit

2. Give cynos a warm-up delay, when they are lit but no ships can pass through. Larger and covert cynos have longer delays.

In Eve, being slow is a standard tradeoff for being big, it impacts everything from lock times to warp speeds, and it makes sense for cynos as well. Covert ops cynos are much more powerful than standard cynos because you can bring a bridge with you (in the form of a BLOPS battleship) and can safely cloak in hostile space. A longer delay to get through would help balance this mechanic. Again, here are some numbers to start discussion.

Small: 5 seconds
Small covert: 10 seconds
Medium: 10 seconds
Medium covert: 20 seconds
Large: 20 seconds
Large covert: 40 seconds
Capital: 60 seconds

3. Tie the ability to light a cyno with jump fatigue, so you can't light a cyno until your jump reactivation timer has finished.

This is here to prevent people from jumping through a cyno and then immediately lighting another one. I used the jump reactivation timer, because it's the simplest solution I could think of and easy to understand. Covert ops and T2 industrial ships would have a significant advantage here. I don't think this would be game-breaking, but I am interested to hear opinions on it.
#2 - 2016-12-23 16:03:07 UTC
there is no issue with cynos

this idea attempts to defeat the purpose of cynos

if you do not like cynos use a jammer. do not engage known cyno pilots. play in areas of space that do not allow for cynos(that's why they exist) ect
Elemental Tide
#3 - 2016-12-23 16:28:45 UTC
Lugh Crow-Slave wrote:
there is no issue with cynos


IMO, little to no risk + huge reward = Issue.

Lugh Crow-Slave wrote:
this idea attempts to defeat the purpose of cynos


It depends on your opinion on the purpose of cynos. I see them as a way to bypass gate-to-gate travel, in which case, this does not defeat their purpose at all. If you see their purpose solely as a ganking mechanic, it may defeat their purpose.

Lugh Crow-Slave wrote:
if you do not like cynos use a jammer


That does not work against covert ops cynos (the most common type)

Lugh Crow-Slave wrote:
do not engage known cyno pilots


This is a PvP game, a module that makes you effectively unengagable by others in your class is broken

Lugh Crow-Slave wrote:
play in areas of space that do not allow for cynos(that's why they exist) ect


That's not why they exist anymore than nullsec and lowsec exist to support the use of cynos.
Goonswarm Federation
#4 - 2016-12-23 17:50:02 UTC
Roll
#5 - 2016-12-23 17:53:21 UTC  |  Edited by: FireFrenzy
SHow me on the rifter where the hotdrop hurt you...

The point of a cyno with a warm up is to give a beacon that the enemy can warp to and blap a stationary cyno ship, this renders cynos TOTALLY ******* USELESS for anything even remotely like a combat drop and would render them ONLY usefull for ganking people with a heavily tanked cyno ship...

Thus defeating your own point #reported-for-redundant

EDIT: found it! He got dropped by PL! https://zkillboard.com/kill/58472715/
Shadow Cartel
#6 - 2016-12-23 18:01:20 UTC
Yeeeeeeaaaaaah... the whole point behind Covert Cynos is to gank.

Don't believe me?
Look at all the ships that can use Covert-Ops cloaks.
With the exception of Tech 3s and the SoE ships (which were designed well after the fact), cloaking ships are not able to stand up to their Tech 1 variants in a straight fight. Their entire design centers around fighting unfairly.


But let us assume that your idea goes through.
You have to now bring in cloaking fleets into system before you can look for targets.
But then your group and you show up in Local Chat, everyone in system hides, and your cover is now blown.

(yes, yes... you did mention that you have some ideas for intel changes... which I assume includes Local Chat. The problem is that you cannot separate Cynos, cloaks, and intel. They all work together to create the meta that we have today).
#7 - 2016-12-23 18:03:41 UTC
Fit your own cyno and counter-drop them.

See, cynos are balanced because they work the same for both sides.
#8 - 2016-12-24 00:02:10 UTC
the hell do you mean there is no risk?? have you ever heard of a counter drop? just because YOU know there is no counter drop does not mean THEY know there is no counter drop
Elemental Tide
#9 - 2016-12-24 00:39:00 UTC  |  Edited by: James Zimmer
FireFrenzy wrote:
SHow me on the rifter where the hotdrop hurt you...

The point of a cyno with a warm up is to give a beacon that the enemy can warp to and blap a stationary cyno ship, this renders cynos TOTALLY ******* USELESS for anything even remotely like a combat drop and would render them ONLY usefull for ganking people with a heavily tanked cyno ship...

Thus defeating your own point #reported-for-redundant

EDIT: found it! He got dropped by PL! https://zkillboard.com/kill/58472715/


"warp to and blap a stationary cyno ship..." 5 seconds, you can't warp, land, lock and blap in 5 seconds, and it would be tough to do in 10, which would allow for a tolerable-sized cruiser fleet to jump in. If you want to drop a cyno in the enemy's optimal in a large fleet fight, why should you have a guarantee that you'll survive long enough for your fleet to come through? If you want to use the cyno to your advantage, light it at your fleet's optimal opposite the enemy fleet. Then they're faced with a choice: Warp to the cyno to prevent reinforcements, and lose a bunch of ships engaging at a disadvantage, or let the reinforcements come.
Elemental Tide
#10 - 2016-12-24 00:40:40 UTC
Iain Cariaba wrote:
Fit your own cyno and counter-drop them.

See, cynos are balanced because they work the same for both sides.


That's also called N+1, which is hugely detrimental to the game.
#11 - 2016-12-24 00:50:54 UTC
lol what? N+1 this is not.

you don't need a bigger drop to counter drop. in fact since you know what they have you can normally counter it with less.

however yes having more ppl does give you better odds... that's how **** works. N+1 normally comes in in large fleet fights where you win by being the first to alpha off more dps than your reps can handle this is where literally 1 ship gives you the win.
Elemental Tide
#12 - 2016-12-24 01:05:37 UTC
ShahFluffers wrote:
Yeeeeeeaaaaaah... the whole point behind Covert Cynos is to gank.

Don't believe me?
Look at all the ships that can use Covert-Ops cloaks.
With the exception of Tech 3s and the SoE ships (which were designed well after the fact), cloaking ships are not able to stand up to their Tech 1 variants in a straight fight. Their entire design centers around fighting unfairly.


But let us assume that your idea goes through.
You have to now bring in cloaking fleets into system before you can look for targets.
But then your group and you show up in Local Chat, everyone in system hides, and your cover is now blown.

(yes, yes... you did mention that you have some ideas for intel changes... which I assume includes Local Chat. The problem is that you cannot separate Cynos, cloaks, and intel. They all work together to create the meta that we have today).


I won't argue that covert ops don't exist to gank, but I will argue that it's too easy for them to do so in null/low, and too easy for them to get away after.

Since you mentioned it, when it comes to intel, I don't think you should appear in local unless you've decloaked close to something (say within 10,000km) like a gate, station, citadel etc. so you wouldn't show up in local until you do something or your jump cloak timer deactivates. It would also mean that if you came through a cyno (assuming it's 10,000km+ away from structures) or a wormhole, you're not in local. However, you do create a signature: You show up on d-scan. If someone is watching closely, they have a chance to react, but in a big, unpopulated system, it's going to be very difficult.
#13 - 2016-12-24 01:41:16 UTC
... did you just say blops is easy? Have you ever done it before?
O.U.Z.O. Alliance
#14 - 2016-12-24 02:15:41 UTC
Lugh Crow-Slave wrote:
... did you just say blops is easy? Have you ever done it before?


Nope, but I did see it live in action once or twice - being on both ends as victim and getting help from. The thing is you cannot jump anyone in highsec and in null they just run like rabbits Cry

At least we have one Prospect for this, you are usually in range to execute this function.

Eve Minions is recruiting.

This is the law of ship progression!

Aura sound-clips: Aura forever

#15 - 2016-12-24 14:33:49 UTC
Not to worry if you are not in range she will let you know
Elemental Tide
#16 - 2016-12-24 14:55:27 UTC  |  Edited by: James Zimmer
Lugh Crow-Slave wrote:
... did you just say blops is easy? Have you ever done it before?


BLOPS Kill ratios according to zkillboard:

Panther 62:1
Sin: 43:1
Widow: 32:1
Redeemer: 60:1

For comparison, a Cerberus, which is probably the most competitive HAC in the game right now, has a kill ratio of 12:1.

Somehow, I find it hard to believe that BLOPs is all that difficult, and while I haven't done a BLOPS drop before, I have done a normal hotdrop off of a Titan. That was by far the easiest PvP I've ever encountered in any game.
#17 - 2016-12-24 15:03:18 UTC
you... you do know.... like you understand that...

once your on grid the hard part is over.....


how about before you comment on a mechanic actually use it and don't just pull anecdotal numbers
#18 - 2016-12-24 15:16:56 UTC
James Zimmer wrote:
Lugh Crow-Slave wrote:
... did you just say blops is easy? Have you ever done it before?


BLOPS Kill ratios according to zkillboard:

Panther 62:1
Sin: 43:1
Widow: 32:1
Redeemer: 60:1

For comparison, a Cerberus, which is probably the most competitive HAC in the game right now, has a kill ratio of 12:1.

Somehow, I find it hard to believe that BLOPs is all that difficult.


Being a good BLOPs pilot is, in fact, fairly difficult. The thing those statistics don't tell you is how those kills are concentrated. The reality is if joe-bloe goes out and buys a Black Ops right now, and even convinces his friend to cyno him in on top of something, he'll probably die in pretty short order. Since Black Ops ships are expensive that means he's going to be priced out of his stupidity pretty quickly too.

This is reflected in the stats you didn't post, namely the relative kill numbers and efficiency ratings for those two data sets.

The entirety of the Black Ops class has a kill total for November that's about half that of the Cerberus as a single ship and a similar ISK efficiency rating of about 89%. Meaning that while Black Ops are losing fewer ships they're still losing about the same relative value in ships because they're *really* expensive.

For example I can take an equal number of Cerberus and Black Ops pilots out on a roam and I can lose about *five* Cerberus fleets for the cost of the one Black Ops fleet.

Also OP your idea is pretty poorly thought out. Cyno's aren't risk free, you're committing a fleet into a forward deployment and with no real possibility of easy escape. The only reason it looks risk-free to you is because the person dropping the cyno has done their intel work on the area and is dropping a large enough force that they're unlikely to be seriously threatened. In this case the risk and the reward come almost entirely from player action or lack of action, not from the mechanics, which is fine.

Heck a couple of weeks ago or so some Supers dropped on a target and got dread-bombed and died. Risk-reward in action.

Overall it just doesn't look like you've properly thought through the impact of your suggestion here. From ship logistics to the entire viability of covert ops ships as a class these changes would have massive consequences that you don't even bring up or try to address. Not to mention that there are very very few ships in the game short of a Titan that can be expected to survive 60 seconds with an active Cyno. Heck if there's even one other person in local you'd be lucky if a cheap cyno frigate survives long enough for the Jump Freighter to land on grid.

Your response to those or any other unintended consequences may be "I'm fine with that" but generally massive changes that cause a large shock to the usefulness and play-style of existing ships are to be avoided whenever possible unless they're widely considered positive ones by the community, which I can guarantee you this would not be since the vast majority of players use Cynos actively in some form and therefore have a vested interest in not seeing them nerfed into uselessness like you're proposing.
Elemental Tide
#19 - 2016-12-24 16:55:01 UTC
Cade Windstalker wrote:


Being a good BLOPs pilot is, in fact, fairly difficult. The thing those statistics don't tell you is how those kills are concentrated. The reality is if joe-bloe goes out and buys a Black Ops right now, and even convinces his friend to cyno him in on top of something, he'll probably die in pretty short order. Since Black Ops ships are expensive that means he's going to be priced out of his stupidity pretty quickly too.


When you look at the stats, they seem to tell a more nuanced story. Over the last 7 days, almost as many pilots killed or were killed in BLOPS as those who killed or were killed in Cerberuses, despite the Cerbs killing more twice what the BLOPS did in December (sorry, I can't seem to find weekly stats). As a result, it seems that there are plenty of people who aren't being priced out of their stupidity, and despite the fact that there is a broad group of people playing with them, it's not negatively impacting BLOPS stats in any significant way. On the flip side, The top BLOPS players do bag a somewhat higher percentage of kills over the top Cerb pilots.

Cade Windstalker wrote:
This is reflected in the stats you didn't post, namely the relative kill numbers and efficiency ratings for those two data sets.

The entirety of the Black Ops class has a kill total for November that's about half that of the Cerberus as a single ship and a similar ISK efficiency rating of about 89%. Meaning that while Black Ops are losing fewer ships they're still losing about the same relative value in ships because they're *really* expensive.

For example I can take an equal number of Cerberus and Black Ops pilots out on a roam and I can lose about *five* Cerberus fleets for the cost of the one Black Ops fleet.


As I looked at the statistics, you're correct here.

Cade Windstalker wrote:
Also OP your idea is pretty poorly thought out. Cyno's aren't risk free, you're committing a fleet into a forward deployment and with no real possibility of easy escape. The only reason it looks risk-free to you is because the person dropping the cyno has done their intel work on the area and is dropping a large enough force that they're unlikely to be seriously threatened. In this case the risk and the reward come almost entirely from player action or lack of action, not from the mechanics, which is fine.

Heck a couple of weeks ago or so some Supers dropped on a target and got dread-bombed and died. Risk-reward in action.


On the BLOPs side of the house, the risk is extremely low (which is the reason for the incredible K/D ratios). Very few player organizations are capable of fending off 30+ man fleets with less than a minute to form, and making that the standard to do PvE / mining in null / low is damaging to the game IMO. Once the gank is over, everyone cloaks up, waits out their jump reactivation timers, and then cynos out on the BLOPS. The time that people have to be decloaked is small enough that it's effectively risk-free.

When it comes to normal cynos, there is risk in moving a fleet far forward, but that's not actually what we're talking about; we're talking about the mechanic of a cyno. If you could magically move from one place to another without a cyno, what risks have you mitigated by doing that? A 20 mil ISK interceptor that may die after it lights and a few minutes of jump reactivation delay? IMO, that cost is far too low for what you're getting.

Cade Windstalker wrote:
Overall it just doesn't look like you've properly thought through the impact of your suggestion here. From ship logistics to the entire viability of covert ops ships as a class these changes would have massive consequences that you don't even bring up or try to address. Not to mention that there are very very few ships in the game short of a Titan that can be expected to survive 60 seconds with an active Cyno. Heck if there's even one other person in local you'd be lucky if a cheap cyno frigate survives long enough for the Jump Freighter to land on grid.

Your response to those or any other unintended consequences may be "I'm fine with that" but generally massive changes that cause a large shock to the usefulness and play-style of existing ships are to be avoided whenever possible unless they're widely considered positive ones by the community, which I can guarantee you this would not be since the vast majority of players use Cynos actively in some form and therefore have a vested interest in not seeing them nerfed into uselessness like you're proposing.


Covert ops classes have plenty of viability going gate to gate right now. A moderate nerf to cynos won't make the class anywhere close to irrelevant, and they will still be very strong if it's combined with adjustments to intel.

60 seconds was for capital-sized cynos, and was a starting place. I don't expect you to be able to light that in the center of a large-scale capital brawl and survive, and that's by design. Being able to reinforce to the center of a fight is very unbalanced compared to other ways of moving and eliminates a lot of potentially interesting gameplay involving strategic blocking actions and positioning.

If you read what I suggested, a cheap cyno frigate would only have a 5 second cyno delay, but wouldn't be able to move a JF; you would need a battleship for that and 20 seconds. If you're in such dangerous space that a battleship can't survive for 20 seconds, with your opponents dealing with the same cyno delays as you, should there really be some expectation that a non-combat ship should be safe to move?
Goonswarm Federation
#20 - 2016-12-24 17:29:44 UTC
James Zimmer wrote:


60 seconds was for capital-sized cynos, and was a starting place. I don't expect you to be able to light that in the center of a large-scale capital brawl and survive, and that's by design. Being able to reinforce to the center of a fight is very unbalanced compared to other ways of moving and eliminates a lot of potentially interesting gameplay involving strategic blocking actions and positioning.



Fortunately, your idea pretty much deletes large scale capital brawls, so that shouldn't be an issue.
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